Over in North America they have a pub-standard league known as the MLS, which until the arrival of a certain individual was ignored pretty much everywhere.
To shorthand it into one sentence: How this works is that new players are recruited from college soccer teams. So if you wanted to play in the MLS the route in first would be for you to get yourself into a college.
Now you are pondering on how a young chappie such as the one seen pictured above just before his Chartered Accountancy interview, would have done since the only route into soccer in the States is via academia. He would have got on very well actually. Because his talent would have been spotted and would have probably been offered a quote: “football scholarship” so that he could then attend a college to quote: “study” but everyone knows he’s there to split the defence with a pass and not infinitives.
I re-worded that last line about hundred times, I give up.
The perverse thing about that draft system is that the poorest performing team from a previous season get the best draft player first – and the best team get to choose last. This is designed so that there’s an even spread of talent, a level playing field if you will.
So imagine it like Walcott playing for Portsmouth – or Babel playing for Liverpool. Oh.
That’s quite enough of the filler text. To the subject in hand:
Regarding a certain Paul John Gascoigne Esq, famous son of Gateshead, resident of the local nick as of late.
The year was 1990 – the height of Gazzamania – and it was a golden year for him*
With the single featuring Lindisfarne reaching number 2 in the charts, he followed up this success by releasing an album. But this was not your usual Long Player…
I doubt if we’ll ever find the reason for the curious choice of tracks on this album.
Reading the sleevenotes from the Geordie boy, he writes:
“When I was first asked to get together some special songs and very special friends for an album the difficulty was deciding what (and who) to leave out.”
One of the things he pretty much left out was himself. Choosing to include the singles, plus one additional song that he got his mates (at the time) to howl along with.
– And in the interests of decency names should be named: Kenny Lynch, Danny Baker, Anna Gascoigne (his sister), Michael Patto, Gary Osborne, Billy Laurie, Lem Lubin and Martin Kearney… but no Jimmy “Five Bellies”… Probably for the best.» Gazza and Friends – All You Need Is Love
and because I’m feeling sadistic today have the 12″ version…
…. of Fog On The Tyne:
» Gazza/Lindisfarne – Revisited (12 inch version)
The rest of the album was filled with a medley from various artists including a soul, a Motown, an Elvis and finally a Gilbert O’Sullivan medley. Work that one out: